Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, January 16, 2017

Problems Today Between Racial Groups ~ Instigated by the Social Imagination at theTop?

... "nonconformists who are dedicated to Justice, peace and brotherhood."

Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Dr. King drew inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.

While other groups were advocating for freedom by “any means necessary,” including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals.

He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.

Dr. King’s "I Have a Dream Speech" is one of the most revered orations and writings in the English language. His accomplishments are now taught to American children of all races, and his teachings are studied by scholars and students worldwide ~  http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king

In light of Dr. King's humble and practical words for justice, peace and brotherhood, what does the title of this post then imply? It attempts to point that disparity and tension between groups is being caused by or instigated by those at the top - the ruling elite. Why? Because, they have the most to lose and the most to gain.

But you say, "I don't see them doing anything like that". No, the ruling elite (those with money, power, prestige) are clever enough to hire/get others to do their 'dirty' work; or to stir up others to do what they themselves would never do publicly. It is a strategy, a tactic that gives and ends in total control. So, if you 'conform' or do what they want or what they lead you to think or believe is the 'right' thing to do and you do it or at least imitate what they do or seem to be doing, you will never be out of their circle of influence, friends and social networks. Hence, the reason Dr. King stated that disciplined nonconformists will be the ones dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

But, what about all those people who in their small little worlds/communities/churches seem to be the most prejudice? Most of the time but rather always, it is due to a lack of information which leads to a lack of choices as it is for anyone in that environment no matter what color.

Max Weber one of the most genius sociologists observed that choices are what really set people apart. Its how a person spends their time and money no matter how much and or little.  We make choices that set us apart from others. This is an absolute truth that applies to groups. Of course, it seems like others have more opportunities for better choices. Yet, we know that even coming from poor surroundings and or conditions people have risen up and overcome their situation; for example Dr. Ben Carson, George Washington Carver, Condelessa Rice and many others now and in the past.

There are plenty of people of non-color that also have come up from very poor or dysfunctional families. How? They made better choices! But, the ruling elites in positions of power and many who run and teach in our universities don't want people to know that.  They want the general public and students to think that they are being made into racists at the grass roots level.

The reality is that they are being made racists by the top who stand at the podiums putting labels on people while delivering a 'righteous' lecture that people hate each other as if it is in their blood. And, there will still be that some will say it is really due to unfair laws, or unjust practices by people of non-color which are in place because they have the majority. The truth is they are in place in many places because of their shear numbers but not necessarily because they are all privileged or haters and certainly not put in such positions by all local people as in neighbors but put in place by those who rule and look for those who will conform to their rule regardless of color.

Yet, people are led to believe that the disparity they experience is really caused by being a minority due to their 'hater' neighbor and not the person (s) in power.  Even if we were to accept this as a truth, disparity between people is still ultimately based on the choices people make regardless of color. People make choices based on their comfort level, their desires, and world views and those choices shape who they hang out with, what they read, what they look at and what they will do if they think it will move them up or provide more comfort or recognition within their 'small group' as in local and larger social reality.

I would however still argue that those in positions of power and prestige control information and they thus control choices; everyone's. Nonetheless, looking at choices, you can be sure that if you have a nice big house or a great job then you made certain choices and certainly better choices than someone else did. And because of that, because you made better choices or were able to make better choices someone else who did not nor cannot nor will ever have that big house or great job because you got it; you made the better choices.

And, those who make the better choices, they get better lives. They thus want to protect their better life and their children's lives. So, they get people in office and in their schools who will protect their life and their children's lives.  The mechanisms they use are laws, and property taxes, ordinances, regulations, which get people to either conform or move along as in move out.

But, of course, we want to think that if we just make the 'right' laws that prohibit this kind of discriminatory behavior and make all good  information available to all people things will improve. Just remember who makes the laws, who raises the property taxes, calls for particular ordinances and regulations. What can be done then to give the most people a fair access to information and a chance to make better choices and have a better life. One positive aspect is that the founding fathers of this country did consider this and wrote such sound and fair social doctrine. That is why this country is one of the most free in the world.

Because this is a free country, we do have sources of good information which has been made readily available to everyone - its called public education and the public library. And, this is true in some of the poorest communities and public schools there is access to good information and such even exists in the school libraries of all communities. Nowadays, most people have access to the internet where many choices exist and not all are good choices. Max Weber hit the nail on the head so to speak... its the choices we make that matter most.

Dr. Martin Luther King realized this too and hence he had a dream in which he proclaimed exactly what has just been said here. He was silenced because it was the truth and the ruling elites don't like the truth when it hurts them or puts them in a bad light. Yet, perhaps its not fair to put all blame on the ruling elite. Its really about making good choices and as just touted we all have access to information in this country. All I can say is what Weber said ...there will always be some who make bad choices. Their bad choices allow those who make good or even better choices have more power.

If you really want to be 'free at last'; then, do Thank God Almighty for only He is the Creator of all things seen and unseen and in Him we live, move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28. Giving your life to Christ is the best choice and good choices will follow that best choice. That's the one ultimate and absolute truth that Dr. King advocated the most and yet we hear so little of it. Why? Because, that is the truth that sets you free.


1 comment :

  1. Someone pointed to me what sociologists call "Institutionalized discrimination". I said of course it exists and it exits in all institutions no matter who is operating them, no matter what their color. They exist to protect those that think they are under threat or not getting their fair share or being excluded. We can find them in many places. The question is... if someone is knocking to get in yours (no matter who yours represents - people of color or no color) will you let them in?